Domestic Fallout Pan War
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USSR: Domestic Fallout From the Afghan War
involvement in Afghanistan ba< laalcd longer than any raevioui Soviet war mod, we estimate, bas cost tbe USSR more0 Uvea andillion rabies.ercent of the Sovici defense budget In his recent policy statement coo<wninB cooditioosoviet military withdrawal. General Secretary Gorbachev described tbe war as -bitter ando fact, evidenceariety of sources indicates thai domestic concern about the war has been growing aod increasingly coloring Moscow's views about iu staying power in Afg^aiUsUiL The political nnd social pressures generated by tbe war have clearly influenced the Soviet leadenhip'g dcliberalioot on the critical issue of the timing and nature of any Soviet withdrawal
Growing Debate, Polar Uatioo
Since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan iohe attitude of Ihe Soviet elite has changed from moderate mpport lo coracera about the war'i human and societal eosu. Although the Soviet popclace,he Rtosiaru, has afwayi demonstrated someoat the "burden ofO foreign involvement in recent years has received as much rvobtic atteatioa as Afghanistan. In our view, there tzem toor-iclitiooore open ducauiion of tbe waresult of tbe growing number of Afghanoverthe Mrensjtherung of both sujiport for and opporition io the confliet'i
Because Moscow has limited its reporting of Soviet losses, Scrriel citizens must rely on anecdotal reporting, which overestimaiei the number of casualties. Rumors of lOO.OOOplus losses may have conlributedrowing rsolariralton of tile urban, educated portioai of Soviets over tbe issue of the war.
-Jsuggesl that those who duarn>rovcd of ibe war increased fromoercent4hile those wbo favored it iocrcased fromercent. Those wbo had no clear opinion about ihe war corrapondingly dropped fromouricg the same period.
growrng dissatisfaction with ihe war among Ihc Send elite, biervicwg with more ihaaho had contact with Soviet oScialt and intellectual,6 found thatpeicent of party aod government
apparatchiks nndercent of the intelligentsia disappcoved of the war. Someercent ofndercent of mteUectuals also said tbe war was "shameful.**
rrpercnuioai of Ihe War
Ihe wax has intensified some societal and health problems. Returning combat veterans have ipread infectioixsdrag usage into Soviet military units and civilian society^.
^suggests (hat most soldiers In Afghanistan experiment with various types of drugs and at leastercent returnedto hashish. In addition, there are mmors (bat Afghan veterans have spread AIDS, in the USSR..
Chronic corruption In the military induction process has been exacerbated by the war and is now an irriportant target of the antioorruption campaign. Despite the reduction of draft determentsraft evasioneriousenior Estonian official reportedly was arrested in7 for accepting bribes from conscripts leeldog to avoid service in Afglianistan. Sinceravda and the Komsomol (YoungLeague) press in several non-Russian republics have reported incidents of bribery by parents to ensure that their sons do not serve in Afghanistan. Draft evasion is feeding popular resentment of elite groups, who are belter able to bribe their children out of military service.
The Afghan war has sparred al leas!ajor demonstrations insincehese protests suggest that sentiment againstis greatest in, but not confined to, non-Russian areas.pubb'cations) from the Bailie nates and western Ukraineopposition is intense because the war is perceivedanifestationiiiiperialiim. Inthat
opposition lo the war and Ihc trend toward poJariratloo are now moreIn (he non-Russian republics.6 over half the Balls
the Sovietized eliles apparently support the war, while many youngeraccess lo foreignmuch of the more traditional populationh ihc Afghan resistance.
Dy intensifying problems of cwruptiort, uioxict abute, and nationality relations, ihe war hu explicated Gorbachev's elTorU toew "socialith the Soviet people. Iu7 tbe General Secretary reportedlyettlement oo Afgbsnistan to Lenin'* Peace of Brest Uiovsk inihc Soviel lender prevailedierce intraparfy struggle and cededercent of Russia's eooootnic wealth is order to eoosolidaie Soviet power. Tbe cx>mjo.raoa suggests Gorbachev's view of theiability as well as his assessments of theof political diflkulty in termine ling II
Gotbachcv'i speech ath Congress of the Soviet Communist Party on his agenda for domestic reform, which referred to the warbleedingmplicitlyore honest debate on the costs of the war and declared that Moscow wanted to withdraw soon. His mott recent remarksenuine intent to do so on tbe best possiblo terms.,
Turnover in tbe Politburo since9 invuioo hu givenreer hand inresh assessment of policy toward Afghanistan. Of the current full Politburo members, only President Gromyko and Ukraini-an leader Shcbcrbifsajy were full membersost of the Politburo members today bear no direct responsibility for tbe invasion. They probably canolicy shift oo Afghanistan as part of an overallof Brohnev's legacy in foreign and domestic policy
Al the same time, some key leaders loday (cod to assess the impact ofdifferently fromecond Secretary" Ligachev andCbebrikov are probably among tbose most likely toabout (he impact within Ibe USSR rif anyL believesack of
success inwould intentify nationalist activities in Central
belief that the USSR should never contract its military perimeter Moreover, party officials in .he Cen.ral Committee from the regions
borderinglike the generaloreabout the specter of anarchy in Afghanistan that couldoviet withdrawal.
The Soviet military may also have significant reservations about what will be certainly perceived by manyilitary defeat if Moscow should withdraw its forces without guaranteeing the survivalommunist regime. While the lack of tactical success has led to recrurjinatioos, and some segments question continued involvement iu Afghanistan, tbe Soviet miliury. hu probably supported remaining in Afghanistan. The war has provided opportunities for testing and evaluating Soviet tactics and equipment. It Will be psychologically bard for the military to accept the costs of the war us having been for naught and to be proved "Vroog" in the initial assessment that tbe war was winnable.
Tbe KGB may be more ambivalent. Because it is tasked with keeping tabs on the Soviet population and controlling dissent and public dimtisfaction. it has been deeply involved in monitoring antiwar activism and mayetter idea of the wars adverse impact on regime credibility. From the outset of the war, dements of the KGB's Fiist Chief (Foreign Intelligence) Directorate apparently doubted lhat the war was worth die human or material cost to the Soviet Union. Local dikes of the KGB io Central Asia and the Fifth (Antidisstdenl) Directorate, however, probably share coo-cems about the spillover of Islamic fundainentalism from Afghanistan into Soviet Central Asia.
Historically, the Soviets displayed an ability to stay the course as long at ihey viewed the gains outweighing the costs, bul Gorbachev'suggests he may no longer see Ihe war lhal way. Ihe regime bas neverpublic opinion altogether and Gorbachev, more than hisseems to believe mobilizing public support is important io the success of his overalle USSR appears to havehreshold in iU policy toward Afghanistan, and Ihc domestic stresses caused by ihc war bavc evidently contributedeevalualion of political and diplomatic solutions eschewed only recently
A negotiated solution that resultedtaged withdrawal of Soviet troops and the survivalio-Soviei Afghan government for some period of time undoubtedly would strengthen Gorbachev's domestic position, li
would enhance hit popularity and help himlicit support for bis broader political agenda among key elites. It also would burnish the image of Soviet foreign policy and Gorbachev's authorityUtcsman. These pluses would compensate for some advene effects on Gorbachev's relations with tbe military and the KGB, as well as on those Soviet officials wbo believe that Gorbachev should "lough It out" to prevent Ihc spread of Islamic fundamentalism.
A withdrawal from Afghanistan that leduick collapse of Mcaeca's Afghan client would almost certainly raise tensions between tbe leadership and Ihc military, the KGB and some other elites. Gorbachev Is under pressure to protect Soviet equities in Afghanistan, and opinions from various elites arc likely to pressure him against totally abandoning the Afghan Communists io the Mujahedin. The Soviet leader presumably realises thatullout would prove embarrassinghe miliury, the security forces, tbe parly apparatus, and even much of iheopulation. Senior Soviet officials in tbe Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the party, and the Korosorrtol have up until recently told Western interlocutors that tbe USSR canooi be seen as abandoning ils Afghanthe United Sutet did with South Vietnam. Nevertheless,ecent speech on withdrawal suggests that he bat hammeredolitburo consensus to ran ibe risk of such an eventuality.
We believe lhat Gorbachev's announcef prospective dates for adesigned lo win the Kremlin the bcal terms posslblo -makes tbe indefinite maintenance of tbe status quo in Afghanistan less tenable domestically. Tbe continuation of the protracted conflict would have an increasingly corrosive cfleet on Soviet society now thai Gorbachev has made clear his dwerminalion lo exit. By failing to end "Btexhney'a war" now. Gorbachev would risk alienating those who identify the war with his predecessor's rseaxd of misrule and look to ham as one who isew course for Ihe country. He would be hard pressed to deflect public expectations of bringing the troops home. Efforts to shift the blame to Ihe Mujahedin, Pakistan, and tbe Uniteda settlement provesnot offset the major disappointment among the Soviet public If tbe war were to drag on In fact, by going public, and raisingand international expectations, Gorbachev has made ll increasingly difficult for any wouM-be domestic opponents to reverse field and argueong-term continued presence of Soviet hoods
-wocl Public Oianicn About the War Matter?
Concern Over Casualties
of Increased Social Strain Oct the War
Demonstration. Ind polilical AcUrism
Dodging and Class Tensions
Abuse and AIIXS
Perceptions of the War
More Realistic Assessment of the War
Altitudes on the Domestic Costs of tbe War
Factors and Gorbachev's Options In Afghanistan
USSR: Domestic Fallout From Ihc AfRhari War
ScopeSecretaryebruary announcementecision to
begin the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan within twoa Geneva accordetermination to end Moscow'a military in-
volvementbitter and painful" conflict. Thii study investigates the domestic background that has clearly iniiuer.ced Soviet deliberations by outlining growing public polarization and dtssatifacrJoo with the war. It also provides an analysis of elitesources of concernullout among the military, police, and some partyGorbachev has liad to consider and which might constrain his flexibilitye used against him politically should Moscow's clients in Afghanistan fail to survive the withdrawaloviet troops. Tbe paper does not attempt to deal in depth with tbe military sitiution in Afghanistan or the economic costs of Ihc war, which have been addressed in earlier
Seekf Public Opinion Abocl th* War MaHorT
The regime hu good reason to be concerned shout negative public attitudes toward Soviet inrobtmcni in Afghanistan, whkh has dragged on for over eight years. Keening Soviet young men out o( foreign wars and providing the population with thealues so highly have been major sources of regime legitimacy; the war in Afghanistan has weakened these pcorn to the system. Moscow's lm*jlvccocal in the war has also damaged tho turn of foreign policy successes that, since World War II, has enhanced the regime's Image of power and irrrincibility among the Sovici pubQc
Public opinion in the Soviet Union takes muchcrystallite and has less of an immediate impactbehavior than la Western democraticSoviet ays (em Licli institutionalwhich public opinion can directly bebear on official policy; the regime hasto repress dissent and fewerdoing so. Historically, the USSR hatability to stay the. course lo implementingviewed in the regime's interests even whenproduced enormous distress for the SovietNevertheless, the regime bas neveropinion altogether aad cannot afford to doPublic opinion hasignirkantsome critical junctures la the past,reater sensitivity than hitto the relationship between public moralevitalitv and stability of the economic aod
Public Opinion Polls
Since the Soviet invuion of Afghanistan inoviet public opinion oa tbe war hu changed from grudging support to growing concern about the war't human and societalariety of sources have noted that public support for the Afghan war
began to decline iahift in perception began to be more clearly manifestedumber of polls, reinforced by reporting by Western >junulists and diplomats, indicates that Soviet society is increasingly divided In hs attitudes toward the war "
Our knowledge of public attitude toward the war wislong hampered by the lack of cc^npcehcntive sccjotog-leal research and public opinion polling.andful of unscientificbased on narrow samples 'and conducted by opponents o( the war, who had surreptitioesly surveyed public opinion, were the only ones available. Not surprisingly, these polls tended toreat degree of pubUc opposition to the srar.
tbey taggest that in the rust three years public opinion on Afghanistan has become polarizedwHitiea to the war It increasing:
4be number of people with "no firmabout the war hu decreased fromercent toercent.
i*he lame period, the number of people> the war increased fromercent4 to approximatelyercenthile those rup-porting their government's policy increased leu dramatically, fromoercent. Furthermore, "strong dUapproval" of the regime's Afghan policy Increasedoercent overall, whileapproval" dropped fromoercent overall.
In Nnc key segments of society, majority opinion evidently has come to favoewithdrawal frombanutan Q
project toine the altitude* of Soviet officials and intellect nab
J found thatercent of tbe InteflcetuaU isapproved of the war andercent found Soviet action in Afghanistanoreover, oee scientific poll taken in Moscow las) summer indicated most residents of the capital city now oppose the war. Theandom telephone siuveybetween the ages of IS andnd conductedranco-Soviet sociological teamrenchfoundercentithdrawal of Soviet troops and onlyercent felt troops should remain In Afghanistan.
SorieC Uteffigtotsla ,j.
Evideace from sajnizdat publicationsthe intelligentsia over the past threethat the turn In public optakaconcern over the cost of theariety ofscorers. In torn,
suggests that many irrullectitals are especially con-corned about casualties and the (cog-term effect of the brutal eoimterinsurgcricy. According toC.
, Jnuckar physicists at Novosibirsk aadtdeoce city, Akademgorodok. felt thatUnion should withdraw beta use of theof the war. The widely calculatedManifesto of the Uoremtntforstated, "For the first time in the historySoviet slate, the Soviet armed forces arcin Afghanistan an undeclared and hopelessbrings glory neither to Ihc Soviet Unionccording
these concerns may be rdnforeed by tbe netecptioo of many iDicUectuals that Soviet youth Is increasbgly being polarized inio "mi-ny/ractfiits" andthugs."
A few members of the literary intelligentsia, who had not previously spoken out against the war. seem lo have been emboldened by tlainosl to admit Iheir opposition. The poet Yevgeoiy Ycvliubenko lold a
Western jotirnaliu in7 thai be had drafted an antiwar poem in (be, but had earlier refrained from publishing II betauso of iu potential use by Western inlelLigenCeiecision to release Andrei Sakharov, who wasto rears of internal exile in Gor*kiy for his eppcajiion to Soviel Interventionas also probably been an iotnetani factor In increasingale caa ibe war
Yconger members of ibe inleUlgcntsJa who have served in Afghanistan are now publicly discussing the war and iu impact oa Soviet society. At an informal seminar at the Leningrad Youth Palace In7 attendedSroupf whom wereopenly eUicussed casualties, ihe effect of war oo the army, and ibeir Afghan "allies.'
These men see Ihc Afghan nrleeding Russiaalieeul resourcesm not la the vital interest! en* tbe inotberloodiasc wmea komaa and rnalcria) reseoueca man be ceaateaved In teviiilire tbe country. Feeecent miaifrsan ofonaeavauve nationalist association, demanded that tbe "instigaton- of tbe Afghan war be put ontniiital version ol* tbe purported leal of ibe ipeecb by former Moaeow Party boss Doeiifacto to many reforma call for Soviet troop withdrawal aa toon ai possible, probably reflecting ibe prevailnag mood anient Mokow'i iatd-icctual cocoosuruty.
Like the (coeraJ poprshitsoa, Ihe tntdllgcatsU is not unified on ibe Afghanistan las u
J that many Sternberg of Ihe Writ en" Union havelopporled the regimes policy taMore ealreane nticcalba wrileri inchAlcliandr Proahaaor. who ttyka himaelf ai theKipling" tend to aee the war aa an unportaat teal for Russia. Tbey glorify the Russianmission" to drill re Central Alia, and mncb of Ibeir writingtrong racist character- At the7 conference of tbe Writers' Union, Prokhanov sacculated writers who knew aothlng of thefghanistan. His speech was strongly seconded by the depoty chief of the Main Political Directorate of the Armed Forces, CoL Gen. Dasiiriy Vottogocov. wbo eesenbed the pacaruue writings of the liberal inldbgcattia at "po-litacal vegetarianism.'
Prokhanovs abort rtories and novels glorify the roleof Ihe Soviet soldicr fighting in Afghanistan aad aigue thai war Is belter Ihaa fence, becaiae In peacetime Soviet aoclety and solitaryther exponents of military intervention areimilar impact by publishing articles, poems, novels, aad evenoat the captoitt of RuininAlthough many of the ttnriet are pot coders. Soviet aintliiici indicate tbeyide readership.
aaeeru thrr Cnsnalir-i
Of the owart sender, .bo havetba ImcBigcssct Cnnfrranitybeen wounded and more0
tilled. The regime has never disclosed officialSatires, hovrevcr, andfrom a
variety of sourcesoggctti thai Soviet dti-xeoa believe the aamber of Soviet cat Baltics Is much higher ihaa the US estimate:
tensor cotVdal of the USSR Procuracy Office rtrxtflcdly said5 rpeech that the Soviet Union0 rilled annually hi Afghanistan.
4 thatoviet soldieri had died la Afghanistan, tbe majority from cold and exposure,
the Sennet Union had suffered0 failed andCC wcuoekd.
eeting of the Lcrangrtd Writers' Caob inember of the audiencearty lecturer why it bad been necessary to suffer tbe lossocng men le Afgauutistao.
At tbe7 seminar of Soviet bucllectu-
one former aoldier claimed that the Soviet Union bad euffcrcdilled aad
Otice cvkJeoce motes dear that Soviet cauuahsct ia Afghanistan haveause of serious eooccrn to the Soviet public and the Soviet elite:
of public dissatisfaction.
losing iaou may bebrve that public opinion it meaningless, but the question of casualties it causing considerable concern-"
Casualtiesajor source fjsfnct
Stantiiya Bet-tan. Sevcro-Oieiltt ASSR
.following militaryiob of Tatars burned draft board building.
mob burned draft board building in protest against war.
riots at the dly draft board by mothers protesting deaths of ihetr sons In Afghanistan.
rial ai draftroops called to maintainpread lo other villages In southern Uzbekistan
reportedat draft board.
. -Jat draftundreds Involved.
Riot started by motherregimes refusal totort's body forOO reported Involved,to tamlidat account.
Riot by draftees protestingIn Afghanistan..
t demonstration stc-pretsed by regular troops.
Mary. Turkmen SSR
.Uhkhabad. Turkmen SSR
alby mothers cf soldiers killed In war.
Samlidai reports public self-immolation of mother whose ton perished Ind-Hde followed by riot.
ajorby Chechenources report several draftees killed In violence.
J worker sabotaged weapons consigned to Soviel army Inissident sentenced to term in asylum.
major riot al draft board by young draftees.
protest by five toemon-it rotors on eighth anniversary of Soviel Invasion
wobyo SO protesters on anniversary of Invasion.
alties weredivisive tuao and tftnt ibe most frequently ashed question al all led Ufa wu: "Why didn't we doa Afghanistan before blood wai ihed?"
Oulesire lo avoid provoking public indignation over casualties, ihe regime has taken eitraordinary mens urea lo mini mi re public knowledge about the dead and wounded. For eaample,
peblic anger -ith ibe war had caused ihe Soviet authorities ha IMS to discontinue bringing hack tbe bodies of local coca hilled in Afghanistan- Abo. special bOapiLall were reportedly created in Central Asia for tbcae severelyor mangled in tbe war. al least ia pari to keep ihern oat of view.
Sack measure,reated eoeuudonMe re.cntmeaL Over tbe last year or an, Soviet nvedia have begoo to carry stories revealing cases of callous treatment of itncken families:
One faiher repotlcd being usceedulous wheat tbe party and miliury oflVdats who came lo bit borne to inform bim of his soldier aoo'i death weirby tbe police, who Instructed bim ioow-keyed funeral.
Inarty official writing in Pravdahatu only recently thai the auiboriiies bad finally allowed parertts to enseribe on thcii sons' tombUones Ibat tbey had died in Afghanistan.
Sign of too eased Social Strain Orer the War
Increased disiatisfaction with the war has also been manifested in aa intensificationumber of Soviet societal problems aad tbe aggravation of political tens tons in Ibe rtoo-Russian republics. Sincehe Soviet media have provided somewhat more frank information about some of these war-related domestic problems.
Antiwar lje**oed*rattocei aad Potmcal Actirisau
Immediately following Sonet intervention, there were reportselect number of small dcmonstraiioos against the war In tbe non-Resalan republics.02 news of nine such dcsnorsstratioBS reached Ihe Wert.
Antiwar sentiment has apparently caused greater political violence in Ihe past four years.eports of political opposition al scattered locations in the Caucasus. Central Asia, and the Russiangrew dramatically (as did military casualties ia tbe ill-fated Panjsb.ee Valley and Paklia Provinceenses j. Although some demo nitrations have been peaceful and involvedew dozen people, others have degenerated into bloody riots that have been suppressedignificant number of casualties.
Sincehere have been reports of at leastajor antiwar demoeutra lions In the Soviet Union. According to saniudat, there have alsoumber of carefully orchestrated peace vigil) as well asof disseminating antiwar literature;
article notingnarrnitrviry concluded that, by hiding the leases of the war. "we are depriving ear childrens if admitting to some kind ofnd may be the indifference to Ihe fate of these kids fWiihe* because we do actoad of thew deeds -
lear response lo such sent invents and eoeacrrna. Gorbachev iaebrnary statement proclaimed lhal "Iha memory of those who haveero's death inacred loe weal on to stress ihe intent ofto lake care of bereaved families
6 that several
peace activists had painted antiwar graffiti incondemning Soviel intervention.
Although antiwar sentiment has not generated any coordinated Opposition such as tbe network of human rights organiratioos of ihe, evidence from
a variety of source* suggests ibai antiwar political groups have been formed at several locations in the USSR:
Innited Opposition Party was formed by an "alliance- of nonparty Intellectuals in Leningrad. Its initial manifesto called for an end to the war In Afghanistan because cf tbe loss of life. Tlris groupernonstrauon in October, during which an Orinoco* priestigntbe war.
n underground antiwarrecently been organized to ipeak out againstin Afghanistan.
"While this underground movement Is not antigc-crnmcnt, it is beginning to speak out and propagate slogans that are critical of coatioucd Soviet involve-raent in Afghanistan."
J> group of intellectuals in Moscow had founded an antiwar group In the wintero discuss the war. She reported that tbey bad invited hereeting of (heir circle and to nwei with veterans. She alto reported that many of the members of the circle were children cf seniorand Important intellectuals.
dissident peace circle. The Group to Establish Trust Between the USSR and the USA, reriodjeally reiterates Its call for the Immediate aad totalof Soviet troops from Afghanistan. Since
everal of Its members have beenrefusing to serve In the military and for
Contacts between antiwar groups appear minimal. Antiwar activists continue to be harassed by the authorities, prosecuted for previous membership in these still proscribed organizations, and threatened with conscription. For eaanveMe,ifisis--one of whom is blind In onetaken lo tbe Moscow draft board in7 and threatened with induction.
Evidence suggests lhat the security servicesGorbachev have been tough on peacethe non-Russian republics. Several Centralwere sentenced to forced labor camps in thefor protesting the war have wbsequenUyto harsher labor
Si Furthermore, according to recent Sovici sa* mizdat, several Muslim religious leaden in Central Asia, wbo are reported to have been actively antiwar, were arrested in ihe summer
vidence that, at least In major urbanigh percentage of Soviet youth areopposed lo the war and cynical about military service:
young veteran of the war states, The feeling will remain with meave been Involved Indirty, something not reallynother veteranriend that he Is ashamed to wear medals from service In Afghanistan, adding, "War doesn't mike you mature. It makes you old"
avoid tbe draft he would fake suicide andittle limesychiatric hospital. "Tbe armyaste ofe explained. The army makes
to an nrtkleentral Aslao Koaiso-mot newspaper last fall, several youths objected to service in Afghanistan doubting lhat "it was mm-snry to gooreign country for heroism'
The regime Is clearly sensitive about negativetoward the war among Ihe young, especiallyime when Gorbachev Isajor effort to persuade Soviet young people lhat their interests are compatible with, rather than at odds with, those of ibe regime. Over the last several years, senior regimeDefense Minister Dmitriy
publicly thai patriot inn haso several high level miliury spohcsaxa have decried wilh ua-usual fervor (he growth of pacifist (crtdendes among the young. During the US-USSR telcvislou procram broadcastecondary school latudents reported remark*brother dial inm willing to die for my country, bw not someonecensored.
Dra ft Dodging ud Oars Tension! The war in Afghinlttaa has exacerbated chronic corruption ia Use military lad act ion process. Those who can afloed It frequently bribe thdr way out of duty la Afghanistan or out of military service entirely. The price of avoiding Afghan service Is high, rangingubles.
Since many ctatrtary catireos cannot raise such Urge sums, much of the population correctly believes it is tbe "common people" who are bearing the brunt of the fighting;
In aa article last fall in Uieraiurnoyo Caseie. the author noted (hat the majority of tbe sotdiert in Afghanistan were tbe "cblldrca cf westers andarty ceTfkis} admitted in Wj lair December (hat few children of the elite served in Afghanistan.
etters to (ho Ukro inian-language Kouuomolother of two soldiers noted (hatiden of service In Afghanistan fell on the aorlug class and thai she doubted whether any of tbe ehildien of Ibe "bosses" were serving in (be war rone, and another Ukrainian noted that children of tbe elite in one oblast served at guards in military museums
Gorbachev evidently believes it is necessary to com tut Ihe ordinary citireni' resentment of privilege in Ihe highly stralified Soviet political and social system ir. order to overcomen the regime and to mote use grassroots tepporl lor hit policies. To this end he bas touted (lie prinripln of "socialhkh is liken to mcaa gieater
equably of harden sharing, including ouTilaty service. Accordingly, harsh measures have been taken against those trafadciag ia deferments:
Former Urbck First Secretary Urmankhod/Jviio2 staled thai "hundreds ofmembers had been prosecuted for draft ded-ging" during the previous two yean, and acanowl-edged that those avoiding conscription had increased "significantly" ta the past five yean.
Tbe Huuian-lin guagc pceas lalhat senior party oKdals had been dianhsed from tbeir posiiMOJ and others are facing prosecution for purchasing delermenu for Iheir children.
Aa official of the Estonian procuracy
J ts inly that Iha chief of Ibe Fatonlan draffember of the EMonirn party Central Committee, bad been arrested for accepting bribesuble* for deferments to avoid servicefghanistan Krosnaya Zrcida admitted la October thai Ihe draft board chief was guilty ofthe board
Despite these moves, the Soviet regional media,tbe military press, and intelligence reporting hive noted lhat draft dodgingerioci
recently reported, for example, that draftcon be purcbated illegally from corruptat draft
Moreover, educational defermenu stall enable many elites to protect their torn,1 and again5 oaircrsity defermeoU were restricted tcenewbaL But in the apringew system of def crmcnti was proposed to exempt science itodcnu from couscrip-lion To tbe eiteei lhat children of the elite have cootinacd to evade the draft, the war contributes u> under mining tbe credibility of Gorbachev's "social |usi ice" claims
Ibe motealfmilliotiSoviet soldiers who hive served ia Afghanistan, knownamst, and iheir families pose an additional social problem, rhosc veterans wbo survive, like the American veterans of Vietnam, return home without the benefits of parades or popular acclaim. Tbeight* at well as their reintesratiojt Into Soviet society have become issues thai the Gorbachev retime has had to eoofrocL
Moat veteranseeing thai their aacriftcca have notprecialed by their cravjttryttsea rod, ing by the Soviet resodia. C* So^eteran in his early twentiesymr-tbeOc interviewer bow he was receivedbeattility even by Worldeterans, one of whom asked bow be dared to wear medals -from thaine story in the Ukrainian Keeasomol paperIn Pravdc) reportedoctoreg leas veteran reuuestirig assistance,end youtories la the provincial pecan indicate other wounded veterans have committed suicide after being refused basic services.
Veterans appear to hare little in common with their peers who remained safely al beetle. Many veieraai have developed very conservative sods! and pofilkal attitude* and regard their contemporaries as an uopa-iriotlc lot Immersed in hedonism and UcUng lo
discipline This difference in outlook his led to
rimthm Poetry in the War Zone
Poems found In the Journal ofacorucrint from Kirov killed Infiphtlnx mirror the low moral,oldiers in Afshanistan:
Our so brief lime Hies Quickly by. And no one seenisAll oar youns .oldkn of tho, lot And be preparedear them swear
Take hoed, you at sad, ibe dayacaeberi tho
You're aesrrseward, boeneward bound.
Other underground lyric, more directly challengr the
arjteial explanations for the war:
Nothe Mamaev Hill tSulirtgrad]
Not for Rostov, not for Kabul
My friend died in Afghanistan
He died without glory as an executioner.
Il'i the fauli of ihe Kremlin eidets
Thai Iheir shameful war goes on
And (hose who don'limprisoned
This is whai my country stands for.
Soviet nooeoofoernist you; h. who wereetitionardoa for tba West German Pilot who few to Red Square, lofcC
J lhal ihey were fed up with Afghan veterans, for whom they obviously had no respect Tbe sentiment was apparently returned la kind by veterans, who reportedly roamed the city beating up nonconfonnitu.
> In the newspaper of Latvian Staleludent ioumalist reported that veterans could not understand "ihe animosi y. (he iodifferenoc. ibe rudeness, (he SQuabbles, Ibe hiislnt comments: 'ma have seen you Afghan lypes'."
Komsomolskaya Prarda acted last April thai scene letters te Ibe editor from veterans "easeatialty call for lynchhile others register deprtaoaoa about the cerrutxioa of Soviet society end the failure of ihe authorities to crack Iowa on social disorder.
Veniioi pent-up frustration over bow they have been teeeived al home and bostifiiy toward whai they secrend toward social disintegration, some veteran* hava banded together in extralegal vigilante orgsin several cilica In Ihe RSFSR and the Ukraine.
These gioups.atiaeiccd blaek-mar kef cert,s. and hippies.pa"broader move-meni anion; nationaliftk Soviet youth against West einized culture ' *i
Afganiil have alsoumber of demo ru Ira -lions, which (bo regime teems Increasingly reluctant to disrupt with force According to two separate sources,2 foitner roxaucopers wbo served inindown one of Moscow's busiest street* chanting, "lawg live the military dicta torsuripg the past two years, authorized demonstration! have been reported Inalter, including Donetsk and
* feP3rttd lhat in Lenin-grad ihc police detained two people wbo protested the veterans' "fascism'1 but allowed the veterans'to continue through Iha main streets of the Soviet Union's second city *
So-let officials may be concerned that brutalizing espcrienccs in Afghanistan have made many veterans rxone to violence. Soviet deserters have reported thai, during so-called punitive missions against Afghan villages inspected of assisting partisans. Soviet troops engaged ut veritable rampages of ineuscriminalelhal ihey believerofound psychologica! impact on young conscripts. The Russian ruling das* has traditionally been apprehensive about latent wo lent tendencies in the popubtion al large, and Soviet elites may fear lhat Afghan veterans arc less easily intimidated by police control measures than most Soviet citirens, and that their protests have the poi'.n. till of getting out of hand lit.
Over the past several years, and especially since Gorbachev's succession, the regime has taken aof steps intended to defuse the veterans issue- In his recent tlntement, he praised their "self-denial and heroism" and endorsed priority Ires laical inand in ibe work fcree- Anklet In the central press indicate Moscow it pressuring provincial and state organs to restructure their treatment of veterans, and in Augurl tbe Ukrainian press announcedumber of rayon-level officials bad been punished lor "callous, formal bureaucratic" treatment ol disabled veterans. In (be fallonumenti foe Afghan
veterans were established in Dushanbe and Moscow, and in early November Meoeow announced ihcjorr ma lionational veterans' organization " 'j
Preferential treatment of veterans li resented by maoy Soviet alliens, however, wbo do not welcome tbe creation of yet another privileged group whose benefits come at Uweapcnseof the avenge man.ublic lecture in December, forarty lecturer's attack on special educational benefits for Afghan veterans was applauded by tome students in attendance. Furthermore, tome employers would rather not hire veterans because ihey are entitled to various job-related privileges. As the size of the veterans population increases, the perceived burden on society will increase and tensions will probably grow.
Ihe greatest societal problem for the regime inwith the Afghan war may be its effect on theinorities, many of whom ore frustratedhe iinplicil pro-Riissian tilt of many of Gorbacbev'i policies: democratization and glat/uut have gonefor Russians, regional development priorities have favored Slavic areas; the antkortuprion drive has hit hardest in the noo-Russian areas;ro-Russian bias Im been seen ineraoonel sppoinimenis. Overall, the noo-Rnsiran populilioo appears more critical of ibefghan policy, although local elites in Central Asia evidently hare become more supportive of the war. perhaps because of ihe threai to iheir authority posed by instability In iheir backyard ,
J he wul end the trend toward polarization ore even ore pronounced in all tbe non-Russian republics.ver half the Balls surveyed and more than ii percent ol all Ukrainians, lseloeussians. Central Asians, and Caucasians did not support the war.v
Tke Weiierm Repnblict. Ukrainian and Battle lamiz-dat provide tubalsnformal ion about uppotitlon to tbe war. Many Balu and Ukrainian* probably see the war ai another round ofmperial aggres-*ion
Information from lareUndat incVcatrs lhal Balu aad UTrralnunt bclaeve ihey arcopropenon-ate number of soldiersightthey teeussian war. In tbe Baltic arena, demog.npbie factors may helihten concern about casualties. Since familiet are small, the deathon usually meant the endamily line Casualties in Afghanistan are teen as depleting ihe indigenous nail out lilies in the Baltic -republics, which already are cipcriencing less than rent populallon growth, and mating it harder for them lo ietain separate identity and resist Ruuifica-tion presaurea:
Aa ortKse ta Ukrainian rcUgvoui uraidat ceseritKd Local casualties in Afghani. Jn as "gain* forforiving equal ciirpbasit to national at well at moral alpeeu. the author noted. "Utralniant do not wish either lo fight, not do Ihey want Ihii unjust war."
ibat Estonian casualties had been high nnd thai many veteran* had returned emotionally Karred and inclined lo vioknee-
Arm <niin Communist noted that Ihc star bad strained relations between Armenians and Russians.
rising Ruisian-Gcorfian tensionsesult of the
Baltic samlidat has retcatedJy called for youthsefuse aervicc In Afghanistan,cale neeie Gulag as preferable. One underiroundpublication recornmended la5 that Lithuanians reluse service in (be war rone, to avoid "being oowardl) tools of Ibe oocspyinfther Estonian aarniadat notes that "Uhranians. Estonia ru. Latvians, (Jtbuasnaaa, iheanseb-esarc obligated to famll the bra til orders of Russian officers and spill their own and Afghan blood'
In FtmUlet. Protests In Yerevan andlhal
Gcortian and Armenian nationalists also oppotcan
There is also increasing evidence of opposition in tbe heavily Muslim northern Caucasus and Arerboijan:
Jrecently told US Government officials that antiwar sentiment among Ascri intellectuals bad
According to saminlat, Aseci resistance increased in theecause of popular concern aboui casualties.
in theend Muilira Osatiyans who live inof the Georgian republic fell aibe Afghan Mujabedin
inompany ol Oseliyan conscripts refuted lo serve In Afghanistan. Tbe soldier! were later surroundedarger unit and arrested. After incarceration, tbey Still ended up in Afghanistan.
war ba* polarized public opinioo more In Central Asia than In any other region.6 poll indicated thai support for tbe war there has increased markedly, while opposition has only grown marginally; tbose rolled arc almost evenly divided on the issue with few holding no opinion on Ibe war.
Support for the wartrongestlocal eliles. This is most clearly tbe caseAsian political elites whose privilegeddepend on the maintenance of Soviet rule.other wcll-edocatcd Centralin scientific and lechnicalthat, despite flaws In the Soviet system andstatus of non-Slavs in it, continuedthe USSR is preferable to tbe alternativethe Islamic fundamentalists. Those whoprofessional employmentersonal stake in Ibe continuitionrule;ense they havo been co-optedsystem. Although nationality and religiouspersist, many beDeve Ihe Soviet systemout racderntaatiooesirable, andwhai might happen if religious fanaticspresent government. These people dearlyby the violence ofIran and arnnnsr Ihe Afghan innrgenu. Forimplicitly endorsing this world
view, tolcin Afghan-
iiian Ibe "Sovietringing civilization lorocesseeting with resb-tance from the backward dements of society."
ncreasing evidence, however, thai youneer urban intellectuals in Central Alia ai well as much of the traditional rural society apparently arc cither ambivalent or oppose the war. Reporting In Ihc Soviet
press, as well asindicates growing
interest in btam and Islamk nationalism among these elements in Central Asia:
Crimean Tatar samudal from theexpressions of support for the Mujabedin. Tatars ioaveole In ihe Islamic resurgence in Central Asia and have significant contacts with the Uumiciiedin Uzbekistan.
SovietIn Afghanbun contributed to theof Islam and Islamic nationalism in the Soviet Union
Support for (he insurgents in Central Asia seems strongest along the Afghan-Soviet border f*
summer thai there was widespread support, for the Afghan Insurgents among Tajiks.0 reportedly have periodically crossed the Soviet border into the Turkmen, Tajik, and Uibek Republics io distribute religious otaterial. collect money end food for their irorsps, andraid Soviel targets. For example,JJffOtn Turkmenistan reported lhal posters bdting thc'Turk-men lo drive out iho Russians have been brought in illegally fioro Afghanistan. We can independently confirm four or five Mojahodin military' raids againstreets inside (he Soviet Union, but sources close to tbe Mujihedin report there have been scores:
April. Ptovda twice reported Ihat Mujabedin attacks oo civilian and military targets inside ibe USSR had caused Soviet casualties.
there badumber of such raids and thai
Soviel losses bad been high.
Jin ihe spring?
oviet Tajiks crossed into AfghanistanIbe resistance and said that Ihey wantedhow io fighl Soviet troops to liberateTajiks had
Elite Edglneu About lilamle Faadamrntaliim
of the effect of Islamic fundamentalism on the file predominantly Muslim republics of SovietAsia yeas reportedly one rrason for Brezhnev's decision to Intervene
^that concerns about the Impact that theof Islamists In the Middle East could have on iheir coreligionists In the USSR was an important factor In the Kremlin's decision.
The Spectre of Muslim acthitm Inside ihemakesji difficult foe the Kremlin tofna published article by the Azerbaijan KGBMoscow's belief that the United Statesthe Islamic fundamentalistthe USSR. These concerns may beby Mujahedin efforts to distribute propagandafighters wiihln ihe USSR. j
The Sovici media and senior party officials hare expressed ronllnulng concern about the vulnerability of the southern tier to Muslim influences:
General Secretary Gorbachev In6 demandedpeech In Tashkent that the Central Asian parlies purge themselves of closet Muslims. Since the speech, several senior Central Asian Communists have been purged because of what the Soviet press has claimed Is "dualo Islam and the CPSV.
f his concern thai Iran could Instigate dissent In the Muslim republics.
he number of articles on the KGB border guards on the southern frontier hasIn the central and regional press. On the eve of ethnic violence In Kasakhtton Inorder guard commanders were excoriated forperformance In preventing the InfUiratlon of anllStrrtet material
Inarty official mated C
Jin Leningrad ihat the war In Afghanistan was causing -major difficulties 'Im Kazakhstan. Kirghizia, and Tajlklitan.
A Junedocument summarizing
Soviet propaganda policy noted Soviet concerns about the spread of fundamentalist Islam In Soviet Central Asia.
some teniae Soviet offirlals believed Inhat their country could not withdraw frombecause defeat would Intensify lilamleIn ihe southern republics.
' An editorial In the Uzbek Komsomol press last spring urged young men io Ignore the pleas of "religiousot lo serve In Afghanistan. The Tajik prets has also carried articles noting the reluctance af young men lo serve against their coreligionists Inimilar editorial In ihe Turkmen press reported that tome youths were refusing to serve In the military because afreaching of "reactionary" mullahs.
been previously recruited by Afghan insurgent com-mander Ahmad Shah Maiood and some had la ken partaidemet bofder post.
ajor clasb loot? place nearTurkmenistan between Soviel troops andsome Soviet
Mirslira comenpu join eel the guerrillas.
The war also appear* to have intensifiedamong Central Asian conscripts in tbe Soviet Ground Forces C
ew Soviel Muslims have gone over to the Mujabedin or have clandestinely provided the resistance with information.
igh level of discontentAsian conscripts. Although brutal hazing"senior soldiers" and noocoenmiuioncdis an even greater source of disaffectionor national differences, the war itIn the multinational army. Anof Ibe war noted ihat most of hiscolleagues holds "blind bale" forand
following the Alma Ala rices inationalist anti-Russian demonstrations may have taken place In Soviel garrisons in Afghanistan Judging by Ihe comments of an academic reporting on Soviet television about rationality problems L
hortly after tbe Alma Ata riots, the Soviet military press reported thatb Army units held special politicalit. Indoctrination"discuss" the riots with tbe Kazakh troops, suggesting thai tensions may have continued for some time.
Drag Abuse and AIDS
The link between the drug problem and the war also may be coloring public attitudes about mrolvcmcnt in Afghanistan and feeding popular concern about tbe emergence of AIDS ata significant problem C
suggest that in the warajority ot soviet conscripts use drugs. Ministry of interior officials have acknowledged publicly thai large arnonnts of Afghan opiates and hashish are smuggled into ihe USSR. Some of the illicit drugs bound for the USSR are brought in by returning Soviet troops and seeurilyfact lhat Soviet officials now ruefully admit:
oviet general ban been arrested for smuggling drugs. Furthermore, last July, ibe Soviet cressenior MVD olficial io Turkmenistan had been jailed forears for smuggling drugs into tbe USSR from Turkmenistan.
inistry of Defense investigationoviet military personnelmuggling operatico lhat involved drugs, hard currency, and gold.
several occasions during the periodsoldiers were prosecuted for smuggling ndicatedKGB was Investigating tbe smuggling oftbe USSR in military aircraft
Both the security services and Ihe military, as well as tbe party, consider the drugeriousifhreai. After foreign customs officials discovered Afghan opiates and hashish out number of Soviet aircraft and mercban' vessels.security agencies have broadened their contacts with Western drug enforcement agencies.
Many Soviet citizens reportedly blame the war for turning Iheir Children into drug addicts
.If that In Kiev many Ukxai-nians believe the majority of veterans are addicts. Our
alc ihc number of told kmhave become addicted.
^lepoeieC inai one study found thaipercent of the veteran* used drugs after their deanoWtirat'ion.
Al though we have no hard evidence about iheof AIDS among Soviet soldier*icWaprrad pabuc pesreaprjon thai AIDSspread inside the USSR bypccial military
hospital in Ceniral Asia for soldiers loffertng from AIDS,arty lecturer in Leningrad last May noted that there was growing public coocero about the ipread of AIDS b> AJraiHil.
Tbe threat of the spread of AIDS by Afghan veterans
parallels popularoat the spread ofanother highly infectious disease sometimes asso-
cinted wilh AIDS
J <he number of hepatitis oases among Sonet
soldiers ioery high, and Soviet military statistics indicate the incidence of bepatitb ia theh Army has increased seven-foldoviel journalist noted that Ihe publicfghaa veterans by their jaundiced completion, indicating the close asscciabon la popular thinking between the wag and hepatitis
FJSie Perce prices of the War
Opinion within the political eliteote direct bearing on regime policy decisions than teniimenl among tbe population, although the views of many In the elite are partly colded b* those factors
the Soviet elite seems dbmayed with boifa tbe cost of ibe war lo Ibe Soviet population and ibe loss of Soviet
shows that Ibe war is widely viewed asar. part of bU legacy of unresolved problems. PJile concern over Ihe war Is Increasingly focused on tit retarding effect on Gorbachev's ability toore positive image for Ihe retime aad lo enobiliie support for domestic reforms
C i"> indicaia ihe Afghanhid greater lalieney for the elite WithinesrabUshmeor, ogasion is increasinglythoseoften regretting thaiUnion evertheof the war is nocossary, and tboseIhatuick polities! solution loii
The party itself has noi been immune from the debate iffrcting (he general populace aad the iotcUigenlsia-
^spirts within Ibe party ooat well as on other broader security Questions. Further-more, discussions of Ihc human cost of (he conflict as well as youth oppositiont arc appearing more freoueotiy ia the Koensornot press aad suggest that similar concerns probably arc percoladng withinparly as well.
ndicates that Brcih-'
acv aad has colleague* decided oaconsistent with the preference* of partyihoy believed lhalwould preclude Ibe defeatommunistthai it weldbort and low -costthat the Brezhnev gcoer -
ation initially expected,9hai victory would be attained inooctthi. Most of these source* Indicaia lhal the issue of domestic rcpercus-sions outside tbe issue of Muslim fu.-vIaincouUiu> did noi figure ia Potilbero detiberatiorj
At tho war dragged on and It wu clear ihcreear-term victory, ibe Brezhnevdecided to bunker down for tbe longthat rime was on tbe side men of Breih-
nev's generation saw Utile choice but toarge contingent of regular troops in Afghanbtan foreneration orhese men evidently regarded the -ss cost in human aad material terns* as bearable ones thai could be sustained indefinitely.^^
of (he Ulk,noted thai Ike0 people in at0 in drowning.
against these bases ibe deathen thousand raca annually ia AfghaarUaa -ai potrij-cd an "reUrirclj
Even Ibcoe oMcr party ofltciilt who were oaorxtoed aboul ibe coraoqaencesxMracted war tended lo think (hat escalation talber than negoliiiion wu ihc betl way to being an end lo (he
J more than lOOlimea before party groups. his audiences weie generally dis-luibed by ihe level of mlliiaiy casualties buireacted by aiklng. "Why don't we simply wipe the bandits
n4 lhal many men of the older genera lion fa tot escalation
With the passage of time and the corning to the foreounger generation of party ofrJciab. tbeoutlook co the war has evolved toward greater pessimism
Jmany younger oflkiais have referredfghanistan aa Ibe Soviethey believe ibe USSR is miredarraining (heuman and material resources. Forie
-Ihii the USSR could not win in Afghanbian, and noted ironically, "We're stuck there."
Lgtcdubihiiilnanitudes on Afghanbtan. Interviews L
ound thaiof them diupprcwed cfr andfound the war "ihameful" luggesding ihatminority condemned the war onand almostn-vd it for either rnoralreasons. Theihat
uarter of those polled claiming pattydiupprc-ved of the war
Soviet samirdat leinforocs the impreasion thai some party members and low-level ofliciats believe the war is spiritually damaging ihe USSR. One party memberarabt somiidat publication that "the war in Afghanistan hu tumed Into an endless, senseless nightmare not only for ihc Afghans, but formpossible to jueufy our urvctveeaent in Afghanistan on moral grounds ."
Other party otnciab ha the Rasuaa RepaMicare concerned by the coat of the war topeople ia practical terms Just as thebelieve they arc over represented inmany Russians suspect they areagainst. For eumpie,ublicSociety lecture In Moscow Id early December,activistentraligh percentage of Slavs were beingAfghanistan. Similar questions have been raisedpublic lectures In Moscow and Leningrad,lo
The KGB and the Soviet mibtary havedomestic as well as foreign canities invoHod ia Ibe Afghao war. They were directly involved in orauolu-tions before the9 invasion and their views are certainly considered by the current leadership as it ibapes policy on Afghanistan. Because of Ibeir long involvement in Afghanbian -going back many yean before the invasionnd their direct access toinformatioci on the war, their appreciation of ibe war'arobably even more realistic than that of the Soviet political leadership.robablyby theu concern for Ihc prestige both of the calico and of their latslilatJon* ia the event offrom Afghanistan under circumstances thatleft the coon try in the haadiegime not eJeaety eiigaed lo ibe USSR.
The KGB. which huarge riresence In Afghanbtan throughout the war. Is primarilyfor assessing ihe local situation and making jisdgments on tbe foreign policy implications of the war. Betides ihe foreign Intelligence role carried out
by Ihc First Chief Directorate, ether KGflare talked with keeping (aba on the Soviet popuUtion end controlliai diasent and pnbliewithin the USSR. They have been deeply involved in monitorial antiwar aciivbm and ferreting oat antiwaresult, the KGB mayelter periprxtive than any other ortaniniioo oo the war's cost to Soviet regimet home, oo the Afghan regime's pohtxal viabi&ty. aad oa tbe wara impact oo Soviet Internalm eresti.
From the cutset of the war, clement* of the KGB's First Chief Directorate repceteatly opposed the iirra-iiorj. although probably for operational and perhap* bureaucratic reason* rather than because of cotscern about negalrvv repercussion* inside the USSR- *-
r eooceened that inter-vcotioo by the military could backfire, and favored use of covert and paramilitary operations supervised by the KGB to achieve Moscow'stherindicates that, frora the war's beginr-.ing. many Rest Chief Directorate ataptn have doubted that tbe war was worth the hamaa or material coats to the Soviet Union
Jevea officers in the KGB who bad initiaUy favored intervention betas to have doubts by tbe winter. reporting thatsejority of KGB officers felt that It was time to close tbe matter of Afghanistan because the Soviets had become too involved oted that, whenhe and his colleague* regarded as ato power Inhisbecame more nroewneed within tbe KGB.
Tbe war hasajor burden on the Third Ccbcf Directorate,rsn.aris.Ue for overseeing loyalty and discipline in the military. The TCD has irratrtatcd bandied* of loMicri chargedanging from theft to atrocities against Afghanto desert ioc* Although the war has enhanced it* imfMrtance. tbe TCD has aodoubtedlveen appreciation of the tenons probtems the war has produced In troop morale
Other KGB components may be more hawkish. Local office* of ihe KGB in Central Asia, and Ihe Fifth (Antidiisident) Directorate are operationally morewith domestic security questions, and probably share rsaaccrau lhal Islamic fundansenuLisia binto Centra] Asia fromnd Afgaanistsn
J] That KGB border guards, who have sufferedside AfghaarKaa aad on the Sovietprobably arc even more corseerced about the vulnerability of ihe Soviet border to raids carried out by tbe Mujabedin aa well as cross-oorder dbscrnina-tiou cf anti-Soviet pamphlets.
Tbe military has good reasons for wanting toof tbe war in Afghanistan. Hav-
ing argued as an institution io favor of orrrjuriltting Soviet foreea at the outset and having irade repealed claim* of progress unc theft, the military may not want to be proved "wieatg" in its assessment ihau.be war was wiaaabie or los repcutioa for exenpo-icnce farther umished. Moreover,robably Whwiil gkaBy hard to accept ibe sunken costs ia the war as having been for naught. Abo. tbe war baa provided an ucdlenl training greasedhole fcacrauon ofhese parochialombined with larger cmerras about the tmplicatwru for Ibe USSR of losing face andtrategic loss by pulling out of Afghanistan, almost certainly have made tbeey institutional supporter of the war. *
Despite the military'* reasons for wanting to continue the war, Gorbachev apparently has Politburo supportithdrawal If be can getndicating be has over
ability to do so may have been atrt*urther>ed by
[ of former Defense First Deputy Minister oversaw the war for severalIhc fact that, even within the military. Acre is evidence of war <
The military high command hu rapericoced ecctsidcr-ihle turnovero thai ihc cornelcoo Id arx br completely saddled with(or advocating invuuoa.any correal lop cancer* have been ilovely involved in waging ihe war. These induce Chief ef Ihe Generalerge? Akhrorocyc-v. enel hit flm deputy. Gen. Valentin Varraikov. DefenseYour* was indirectly involved ss Oxominder of the Central Asian Miliury District1. There is little evidence in public ttate.-nenti to suggest ili.it tensor orTidjliof (he Miniitry of Defense had altered their views onsince Gorbachev became General Secre-Ury. Sutemeola by Yatov and Atdlrcetseyev. asss Gen. Andrey UxJehev. chief of tbe Main Political Admitustratioo. and Oen. Petr Lusbev. First Deputy Minister of Defenie. crnphastte the duty of "Soviet internationalistt" in protect the Kabul regime.
They might be especially inclined to questionisengagement ptaa that failed ua raro-Scwiet regime in Kabul. In any assessment of blame that might develop ifwithdrawal led to theirollapae, they might be tempted to blame civilian leaders but would be vulnerable to criticism themselves fot failing so defeat tbe insurgency
Pluses foe the Military
ome Senior officers
igh premium on ihe opportunities that the war has afforded foe teniae Soviet tactics and equipment:
Soviet Bloc6 ihat he hoped all officers In the military would tola combatIm Afghanistan.
3 that there were powerful forces lit the Soviet military wbo did not wont to withdraw from Afghanistan. These osjicers believe that tke combat experiences gained by Soviet troops and the use ofonesting ground for new weapons have been far more Important than ihe propaganda or political eutvantogei thai could be gained by withdrawal.
publications have reviewed recenti such at It It Easy To Bt Young? that raise questions about the futility of the war. An army gestural writing in Krasnaya Zvetdaa my rapinion iteasts doubts on the need for young people io fulfill iheir miliuryast year. Generallicitly endorsed the rievrt of the writer I'rokhanov. wbo questioned ibe ability of civilians to make Judgment* on war. and who decried pacifism among Ibe papulation.
Military newspaper* and professional publicaliont for the officer corps continue to tbow widespreadfor continuing operation* in Afghanistan to secure the USSR's southerneporter for Ihe daily rubtieaiioa of the Minister of Defense noted in mid-May. "Ia the light of the events of March and April on our southern frontier (Maiihedin raidtl we should atk ourselves what would have happened on
our southern frontier* without tha limited contingent of Soviet troops Inilitary spokesmen at public forums have C_
riled the tame strategic necessities In lectures. In teolngrad inpokesman noted "our troops will have tof we leave the Americans will move into the area. We will And ourselves even more encircled with American bases and listeningur most important concern is our security.*
Soviet military would probably prefer to costumetbere ii growing awareness of the costs withinofficer corps. There arc signs that. In aresource constraints,ercent of theco piiumeil by the war may seem excessiveofficers.
specifically stated that tbe decline in Soviet natal activity was doc in part to the diversion of funds from the military to the civilian sector to improve the overall Soviet economy, and in part to the cost of the Afghan war.
A few tactical oorrimanders C
eportedly also believe that intervention is not worth the cost in human terms, especially since tbe military Is not allowed to pull out all tbe stops in fighting tbe war. Tbere is growing evidence that lacs: of tactksl success in Afghanistan has led toand frustrations within the military,pressure on the civilian leadership cither lo up tbe ante or pull ouu
:'.he Soviet military was increasingly concerned about tbe situation In Afghanistan, did not believe it could defeat the resistance withtroop strengths, and feared It could even lose ground.
as claimcel that, while many officers see the war as an opportunity for personalumber of lieutenant colonels and colonels sec II as disastrous for tbe USSR on strategic, economic, and moral grounds.
Mujahedtn commandooviet miliiary document in5 lhal advised Moscow to cither pull out or to drastically increase its troop strength, because of low military morale, highand tbe unreliability of Ihe Afghan army,
oviel Ministry of Defense document,that the Tanranian military noi become further involved in the Mozambique civil war, noted thai Ibe Soviet military bad badly misjudged ihc difficulty of fightar in Afghanistan.
ublic forum on Afghanistan inoviet generaldefending the presence of Soviet troops In"We have bad enough of sacrificing our young
also show grudging respect ice
tbe Mujabedin by the Soviet officer corps,ense ihat tbe wartalemate C
ef its Am anyushtu word meaning enemy andused by tbe Sovieli) were patriots fighting for their country. Military lecturers have noted thai the insurgentsormidable enemy and thai to defeat tb tm the Soviet force in Afghanistan would have to be increasedactor of four or five.
Some Soviet officers may also have becomeIhey sre convinced ibe civilian leadershiphas the will to sustain tbe war for a
ibai in7 Gorbachev had given the General Staff iwo year* lo win the war. TC
thai the military is keenly aware of ibe polilical leadership'! mounting frustration about the cost of the war.
There is also reason to believe thai some officers are becoming increasingly appecfccoiire that tbe war is aggravating soda! problems within the military rank and file, abetting pa ei fj tic tendencies among Sovieli and generally tarnishing ibe military reputation:
in6 showed concern by Ihe Main Political Directorate about nationality len-sions and hoenoseaual relations among soldiers In Afghanistan.
* The Soviel military press alw has exhibited more concern about drug abuserutal treatment of conscripts, and nationality tensions among troops Inh Army daring ihe put
The military press, along with ihe parly press, has. lamented In many articles lhal Soviel yooth ia far note padfitlic than the older generation.ecent addressoviet writers Vanov made pointed rernark* to ihb effect.
A More Rralblic Assessment of the War
During the past year, the Central Committee'sto tbe party's propaganda organs evidently has calledore honest and pessimistic assessment of tbe war. Media treatment of the situation inhas been less than euphoric In its assessment of Ibe Afghan regime's level of popular support and ihc effectiveness of the Afghan military
Stniilariy. party lecturers In Leningrad andalso take guidance from the CentralPropagandapast two years that Soviet diplomats andearlier had been too optirnistic aboutof national recoodliaticn, thatthe support of less than half thethai the resbtance is stronger in two-thirds ofprovinces than is tbe government.
ecture in Leningrad Inarty official arguediplomatic solution:there is simply no other way out People arc dying in Afghanistan, including ourhere is no end inafter fire years or. Tbe Soviet Union is losing tbe politicaltbe USSR is isolated and ils prorJosab to end Ihe war are gciting nowhere."
At another political lecture In Leningrad inarty spokesman told on audiencehat "the Central Commit tec had been advised that tbeissue could not be settledhe speaker also noted that the United States might well have ratified SALTad ihe Soviet Union col gone into Afghanistan
Various caplanations arc possible for tbe increase in Soviet media discussion of the war and the character of media coverage. The overall shift toward aassessment of prospects for early Soviel victory could be interpreted ns intended lo prepare theforrolonged war or forolitical settlement. Yet the particular items lhat arc appearing In the press do not teem loonsistent line. Many of Ihcm at least implicitly urge persevering for Ibe long bauL Others dearlyesire to leave Afghanistan toon, as wellelief that theot in the USSR's beat btercst. *
ll seems likely, then, that tbe conflicting views and images thai have been allowed reflect some genuine differvmces within the Soviet elite over policy toward Afghanistan. With tbe retention of central control over Ibe media, different editors are probably pushing different lines on their own initiative without waiting for central directives. At the same time,robable that differences witbin the top leadership itself have accounted In part for divergent media coverage of the war. Now ihat Gorbachev has apparently enunciated an unambiguous policy preference, ihe media line may become more uniform
leadership Altitudes oa ihe Domestic Costs of
Turr-over in the Politburo since9 Invasion bos probably givenreer hand inresh assessment of policy toward Afghanistan. Of ihe current full Politburo members only Oromyko and Shcberbitskly were full memberso that most of tbe Politburo members today bear no direct responsibility for the initial intervention.sc-qucntly canolicy shift on Afghanistan as part of an overall repudiation of Biezhnev't legacy in foreign and domestic policy.
andidate member of the Politburoorbachev probablyecondary role in Ihe decision lo send Sovietoviet official in
(arsao.it enj the war
Ihe tally yean of involvtmani, Soviet media barely acknowledged amy soviet military pretext la Afvhatdiiatt and wens to treat tew hi to petvens ihe population from leaning lhat ihr 'limited comm.
gem oviet troont nms fighilng rethe* lhan
lag ai adviterj. The regime continue!pper si many detalli. but lince gorbachev, lucctsilonof ihe war has expanded greatly in the media. Extreme view,-Jjgr* pro andbeenal-lovredurface
During Soviet programs on foreign affairs, many callers hoveoviet escalation. One callerelevision program on Afghanlitan last August called for "carpelWoreover.<someorganisation! have become vocal In publicly demanding military victorlei in speeches and
The great bulk af media coverage of the -a, it Infused udth Russian nationalist and meoeoionlollii motifs, ertoillng the virtues of the heroic Soviet soldiers fighting ta Afghanistan aad providing Sennet audiences with the moral ImprttUtee lo protectAfghans from ihe machlnailoni of Wtttcrn imperialists" Similarly, malt published Sovietworks deoUng wiih Afghanlitan Idealize the Soviet role there. Although ihe hardihlpt of life in Afghanlitan are acknowledged, the inttm usually Items lo be to encourage youth tojrepare themiel-ei for the rigori of military letvtct
At the same time, since7 Idoscow has occasionally publicized adverie remarks by Soviet citizens on invotremenl In Afghanistan:
On the radio program IbictuuooiJ Sitttaiioo. Ui teners last iprtng asked about Soiiel casualties and crlilciied corerage of tht war. laember of the audience of ihe same program noted oa ihe ale lhat there was no legal basis under Sovtei law for Soviet Imetvtmlon.
In the summerolumnlsi In Moscow Not openly arguedithdrawal of Soviet troops wilhout the preconditions thai wereIncluded in the official Soviel position. The author af the article wroteithdrawal would mean thai death notifications "would no longer being untold grief to Soviet families "and that ihe country "would be able lo release the additional resource* thai areeeded"/in ihr Soviet" economy)
Monn. Nr. vn also publlihcd an interview with Andrey Sakhatov In December in which he colledomolete and Immediate pullout of all Soviet troop
ctatnaed tail vjorbacbe* ana act aai itc io tfc* intervention from the lUtt.* cipiiined -d. pobc,iit Ittt reference to ihca atote" aadtaVctogged thai he wet more concerned iban hi* predecessor! about the negative Impact of the -a: on the USSR internally Having tied hit futurerogram of dorrvelUC ecooxajc and political-i' he spoil cad t- came to bebce that the Al (ban catmpties li t| hit dooouc cfloru to bringabet Been the regime and ibe iotelligenitia. the group perhaps nustt doturbed bv tbe -ar Having alto made dear bit intercat In toeuring armt oontrol agiecmcntt and reduciig ihe
burden ofending on the domett ic economy, be apparently concluded that Afghanlttaa iirjcd in ihc wayore fuU-fledgcd Bail-Weal detente, and would pay handsome dividends If it could be resolved.
Tbe General Secretary rrpcanedhy viewed the situatloa in Afghanistan or cooipajabie to1 Peace of BrentLratiareaty with German, thai cededpercent of Russia's ecoooerwe wealth io consolidate Soviet power at hoove. Sinceh Cotafseos, Sennet party ocaOab clesa to Gorbo chev, including thosehe Central Coeninit-lee'i International Department, have eatenly criiicixed past pdkies in AffhamBsn and have seemed willingeeumine Soviet stratesjy there Ua.iog the changed rerspecjive to tbe ralructnring of Soviet society:
Injeaaerally triable source reportedevne* eetacialof the InterMtxeaJ Depart,said that the leadership regretted iu military tntervrrUion, noting the foreign and doavestk bar-den of the war. The official reportedlyhat domestic and foreign policy implication, of miliury action bad not been thoroughly thought out by the Politburo.
Innternational Department deputy chief Karen Brutens said be wanted tos soon asuggesting that Mot-cow bad badly ovcresti mated the ability of tbe Afghan Communists to carry tbe burden of the wsr.
Althoughebruary announcement of revised Soviet termsithdrawalonsensus within the leadership on lite desirabilityiliuryumber of key Politburomay assess tbe costs and benefits of involvement la Afghanistan differently from Gorbachev
arty secretary Dobrymn told Italian Conmumit Party cdTscaaU iahal Gorbachev had ran inio siabborn and cot/cocked orascoitioa to diraoenalic ini tin uvea to and the war. Leaders wbo may be the most concernedapaOaaatic tettlcmcBt am result ia the col lapse of Motccwi Communist dients ia AfgbaaiiUa probably itteiade:
SccTcUry- Yegor Ligachev,
eorwerned1 that defeat in Afgbantsun could leadise In nationalist agiution in Central Asia. Although he batlrong public endorsement lo Gorbachev's propoaali asit chairingeeting of tenlor officials to coordinate and possibly increaseassistance for Afghanistan suggests thaimong those most concerned withong-term Soviet mflnencc iu Afghanistan
. Ukrainian First Secretary SbcherbiuiJy "T
urongly supported theo leiervcnc. Hoi laUecroect pebbc tuiemeau do not auggesiuchai^laiceituon-
Gromyto. wbo was Miitisler of Foreign Affairs at the lime of9 decision, also appears to haveupporter of the Soviet mliHary presence in Afghanistan. C_
j has hardline rhetoric at the lima of the invasion and subsequent public defense of Soviet presence suggest be was supported in tbe Initial decatlon.ecent speech he praised Sulin't prolonged and determined eUplomatk iiruigteaociabst Poland" ia context suggesting be mightorstld to ihe current need for aa listAfgbanistan.
Factors and Corheehevs Option* in Afghani* taa
While ihe domestic impact of Ihe wai will not neces-urily be the decisive criterion in Moscow's continuing evaluation of Afghan policy, the evidence seems eecri-peling that it has been aa Iocs easingty geimine factor ia the regime's evaluation of policy optionsebruary aesnewacemeni suggests thai domestic cocsiderilieauore important factor now than when the Politburo decided lo intervene in
Movementegotiated solution ibat resultedtagedas Gorbachev recentlywill, on balance, strengthendomestic position, particularly if it couldovernment Ml BMBgoniitlc toward Ihe USSR in place al least for tome period of time. Progressiplomatic solution would benefit Gorbachev's political agenda by rallying luppon from the intelligentsia, and would go far to convince Soviet youth lhal ihe system was eapabt* of radical change DeracaLilian would also ease nattonality lenuons
A withdrawal oo terms* thai leduark orsie collapse of the Peepie'iParty ol AfgbinisUfl-OOceinaled regime wtauld la icane etteiuobriows over caher asthe mitiin) aad the KGB. as well as wit*,orienird elen>rats of the ctac that wouldompromiie endangera Maiaiil-ltnimsi ally. Ii could alienate many among ihe Soviet urd Central Asian elite, who are concerned about ihe spread of Illume fundamentalism across Ihe border
Neverthlets,ebnury proposalthat be ha* hammeiedolitburo consensus to run just this risk, whkb be apparently feels is manageable.
Having taken ihe initialhowever, the Gesseral Soereury win coo'j nee to be under pressure to protect Soviet equities in Afghanistan by various elites who arc convinced lhal the potCMial cost of the "loss of Afghanistan" is high. Although Gorbachev cansuchhas managed to get Politburoegin awiB be difficultve no- he will continue to be sensitive io steps thai would be viewedellout of his Afghan allies. Such concerns might also limit hi* uctical flexibility a* the Geneva negotiations unfold.
Nevertheless, continuation of Ibe stilus goo into, if the two sides causae* agree on terms, aba would haveperhaps tate ma led war would coatiawe to ccgerdcr corruption sad either problems that over lime wouldn increasingly corroai't effect oa Soviet society Meneovei. greater opportunities for dissatisfied groups lo eipress Iheir feelingl under gfainoir could lead Iu more unrest among disaffected national mi-noritia- particularly among the USSR's growing Muslimwould raise Ihc ipecire that the war couldallying point for theamong the elite, even in Slavic areas. Having gone publicime table for withdrawal, the regime has I'gailicially raised domestic cipcetnOoni that ihe troops win be returning horn* soon Efforts might be made to shift the blame for any obstacle* to theakistan, oratedm the parhasc is not likely Io accept significant deiiys cora rdaecrnly. Gnca iheae public caiaccutanas, it will pi.ibably be increasingly difficult for opponents in ihe bureaucracy or the leadership lo block additions! lutxessioro Gorbachev might prooose lo bring (he talisueeessful conclusionOriginal document.